It was in late 1997, I was eight years old, and I was searching for the comics section in the Sunday papers, when I chanced upon a picture of a boy riding a broomstick and trying to catch this small winged golden ball. It looked absurd but it got me interested; I had never seen anything like it. I didn’t even know it was a review of a children’s book, and yet I immediately asked my sister if she could get me one as a Christmas gift. She agreed. And thus, several weeks later, I received Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in a long long series.
I brought it to school, read it during breaks (and sometimes during classes). It was a time when everyone was free from the clutches of smartphones and the internet, so my classmates were suddenly curious about what was pulling my attention in when I was not talking to them. I told them about the book, told them about the story of an orphaned boy who turned out to be a wizard, and they were captivated. After I had finished the first book, I let my classmates borrow my newfound obsession. And then also the second book. And then the third. And then…
Thus, this was the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. With wands, spells, and the many forms of good and evil. And ultimately, with life, necessities, and love for literature in general. To read is to bring yourself to something new, to something magical. And to paraphrase a few words from the third book, “Anywhere is better than here.” And now, 19 years later, we are about to unfold a new chapter in the wizarding world.
This morning, after several days of following-up my pre-order at the nearest bookstore, the new story was released simultaneously worldwide, and I finally got Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in my hands. It was more special because it was released on Harry Potter’s birthday, July 31. There was a strange feeling brewing inside me. It had been a while. I was not sure if I am prepared to meet again someone, something I valued so dearly. So here I was, ecstatic to sniff the scent of a freshly unpacked book, to flip one page after another almost without end like I was eight all over again. I read the first chapter and, even at my age, it still felt right. Things do change, but the ones you love and treasure remain.
I believe this is how magic works.